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old. They'll face facts as facts, and understand. Oh, to face facts!
Gods! what a world it might be if people faced facts! Understanding!
Understanding! There is no other salvation. Some day older people,
perhaps, will trouble to understand younger people, and there won't
be these fierce disruptions; there won't be barriers one must defy or
perish.... That's really our choice now, defy--or futility.... The
world, perhaps, will be educated out of its idea of fixed standards....
I wonder, Ann Veronica, if, when our time comes, we shall be any
Ann Veronica watched a water-beetle fussing across the green depths.
"One can't tell. I'm a female thing at bottom. I like high tone for a
flourish and stars and ideas; but I want my things."
"It's odd--I have no doubt in my mind that what we are doing is wrong,"
he said. "And yet I do it without compunction."
"I never felt so absolutely right," said Ann Veronica.
"You ARE a female thing at bottom," he admitted. "I'm not nearly so sure
as you. As for me, I look twice at it.... Life is two things,
that's how I see it; two things mixed and muddled up together. Life is
morality--life is adventure. Squire and master. Adventure rules, and
morality--looks up the trains in the Bradshaw. Morality tells you what
is right, and adventure moves you. If morality means anything it means
keeping bounds, respecting implications, respecting implicit bounds. If
individuality means anything it means breaking bounds--adventure.
"Will you be moral and your species, or immoral and yourself? We've
decided to be immoral. We needn't try and give ourselves airs. We've
deserted the posts in which we found ourselves, cut our duties, exposed
ourselves to risks that may destroy any sort of social usefulness in
us.... I don't know. One keeps rules in order to be one's self. One
studies Nature in order not to be blindly ruled by her. There's no sense
in morality, I suppose, unless you are fundamentally immoral."
She watched his face as he traced his way through these speculative
"Look at our affair," he went on, looking up at her. "No power on earth
will persuade me we're not two rather disreputable persons. You desert
your home; I throw up useful teaching, risk every hope in your career.
Here we are absconding, pretending to be what we are not; shady, to say
the least of it. It's not a bit of good pretending there's any Higher
Truth or wonderful principle in this business. There isn't. We never
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